It wasn’t the marquee MLS match of the weekend, but Saturday night’s opening day nightcap at Avaya Stadium is worthy of everyone’s attention. In a repeat scoreline from their last regular season match — the 2017 season finale that sent earned them a trip to the postseason for the first time in five year — the San Jose Earthquakes defeated Minnesota United 3-2 in a game that ended with a big sigh of relief for the fans the braved the chilly conditions.
There were no champagne celebrations this time, as the Quakes hung on for the win after seeing the Loons comeback attempt fall short. Danny Hoesen scored twice for San Jose, and Vako added a goal and two assists, as the hosts built a comfortable three-goal lead. Minnesota refused to give in, and after forward Kevin Molino scored twice in the last 10 minutes, it looked like the visitors would be the team to strike a late dagger into their opponent.
The Earthquakes buckled down, however, and following a few minutes of extra time, exhaled at the final whistle with all three points in hand. Head coach Mikael Stahre described a locker room that was a bit down on themselves, justifiably, and he now has two weeks to get the team ready for their next match, at Sporting Kansas City on March 17.
So what was said in the postgame conversations? What lessons were learned on a night that saw the Earthquakes nearly cough up a big lead? What will Stahre and the team do to make things right before their visit to KC?
Over at Pro Soccer USA — a new national website for news and views from around the entire league — the recap emphasized the effectiveness of the Quakes new offensive set-up. The victory marked the fourth straight year San Jose has collected all three points in its season opener at Avaya castle. And what else was learned on the night? Well, Hoesen is a really good soccer player.
The San Jose Mercury News game report brings up the late game collapse from the coach’s perspective and concludes with his plan for the next few weeks.
Our friends at Quakes Epicenter provide the always popular player ratings. It’s a great starting point for conversation, so be sure to check it out to see if you agree or disagree.
The performances of both Hoesen and Vako gained the attention of MLSsoccer.com, which provides a look at how the growing European influence on the Earthquakes might pay dividends.
Looking more talk on the Quakes, then head over to Quakes Talk for their season opener recap, which chronicles the ups and downs of the 3-2 win.
And last on the list is the match report from Prost Soccer — psst... the photo galleries are pretty awesome there too — which joins the chorus naming Hoesen the Man of the Match.